fiction, review

One Night with a Prince

Indonesian edition’s cover

At last, the Royal Brotherhood trilogy has come to its peak. Sabrina Jeffries ends it with One Night with a Prince, a not-so-stunning-but-enjoyable historical romance with typically stubborn characters and an air of hatred and vengeance. Once again, Jeffries comes up with an idea about an illegitimate child who’s seeking revenge for the suffering of his mother. As always, the historical aspect we find in any of Jeffries’ works is never merely a sticky note glued at the corner, and so is it in this particular number. Still set in the Regency era of Britain, One Night with a Prince offers a quite unusual event through a quite usual plot.

Taking place about a year after the second installment, To Pleasure a Prince, this last part has a story of Gavin Byrne, the oldest among the brotherhood, the farthest from nobility, and with the hardest childhood of all. Among his half brothers, he is the one having the deepest vengeance for their sire, Prinny. His chance to take revenge on the regent comes when Christabel, the widow of Marquess of Haversham, comes to him for a favor. She asks him to help her sneaking into Lord Stokely’s house party to get back her father’s secret letters about Prinny. Byrne knows very well that this is his slight chance, if any, to make Prinny pay what he’s done to his poor mother.

But Christabel is more than determined to secure those letters so that her father won’t be accused of treachery and punished by the Crown. And she is willing to do everything to get her hands on those letters, including becoming Byrne’s sham mistress. Playing a sham couple is never an easy thing for Christabel, and not for Byrne, either. Almost from the start, he has fallen for her charms and wit, and he’s already known that he is in danger, his revenge is in danger, and most of all, his mission is in danger.

Some reviews said that Gavin Byrne is the best and the most loveable hero of all the Royal Brotherhood men. But I see him as stubborn as Marcus North, as selfish as Alexander Black. At some point along the book, I even hated him for thinking only about himself without sparing a little room for others. Thankfully, Christabel is such a determined, strong, and clever woman who will not fall into a man’s arms just because he seduces her nor because she’s in love with him. It’s so satisfying to see her push Byrne to the limit and drag him back to his human nature. Christabel’s character is just lovely, reminding the reader that sometimes women have to say no and be persistent in what they are doing.

Like in the other two of the Royal Brotherhood series, Sabrina Jeffries is pretty much serious in working out and presenting the historical aspect of One Night with a Prince. Though not truly accurate, the book tells the reader a bit about Prinny’s secret marriage and its impact on the throne of Britain. The tiny bit of that British history becomes the foundation of the story and is interlaced with the conflict inside. I was not really attached to the story being told, I must say, but the interaction between the two main characters had drawn me into it, and the way Jeffries tells it is captivating as well. So far, Jeffries’ style of storytelling never fails to stun me, even though some of her ideas are disappointingly dull and her typical plot and characters are almost all similar. One Night with a Prince is one of those which is very much disappointing in the plot and character departments, for they are just same old, same old. I really wish Jeffries could come up with a different kind of plot and a totally new characterization. An author indeed needs a trademark, but telling the same thing in the same style almost in every book is sometimes unacceptable.

All things considered, One Night with a Prince is just averagely nice, because I cannot say that it is as stunning as I hoped it was. Some aspects are presented brilliantly, but some others are hopelessly dull to my way of thinking. However, I appreciate Jeffries for ending the series just right here, and for not prolonging it with another and another book, as is the case with her Swanlea Spinsters series. I would say that this book is recommended to those who seek for entertainment, and, of course, who are Sabrina Jeffries’ die-hard fans.

Rating: 3/5

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